The Nutcracker According to Mother Goose

In the realm of holiday-themed dance, no work approaches the Yuletide ubiquity of The Nutcracker. Earlier this month, Tchaikovsky's seasonal favorite was performed by the Moscow Ballet at the State Theatre, a venue which will also host Minnesota Dance Theatre's production of choreographer Loyce Houlton's popular adaptation. Yet another variation of The Nutcracker, performed by Ballet Minnesota, is set for a run at the O'Shaughnessy. But in terms of sheer whimsy, none of these versions can compare with Zenon Dance Company's annual The Nutcracker According to Mother Goose. Staged at the Southern Theater, Zenon's creatively inspired pairing of Tchaikovsky's festive score against the fanciful nursery rhymes of Mother Goose has proven to be an irresistibly charmed combination. The show is imaginatively designed for all ages, and audiences need not be experienced in dance to appreciate the deft physicality of Zenon's acclaimed dancers, the witty playfulness of their fluid choreography, and inventive renditions of such childhood classics as Little Bo Peep and Wee Willie Winkie. And at a running time of only 45 minutes, the production should have no trouble maintaining its spell on even the shortest attention spans, no matter how young or old. (Photo by William Cameron)
Thu., Dec. 16, 6:30 p.m.; Sat., Dec. 18, 10 a.m. & 1 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 19, 1 p.m., 2010

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